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Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Dec;111(3):407-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2008.08.022. Epub 2008 Oct 1.

Comparison of outcomes and cost for endometrial cancer staging via traditional laparotomy, standard laparoscopy and robotic techniques.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sanford Women's Health, Sanford Clinic, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, USA.



The study purpose was to compare hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy completed via robotic assistance, laparotomy, and laparoscopy for endometrial cancer staging with respect to operative and peri-operative outcomes, complications, adequacy of staging, and cost.


One hundred and ten patients underwent hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy for endometrial cancer staging. All cases were performed by a single surgeon, at a single institution (40 robotic, 40 laparotomy, and 30 laparoscopic) and were retrospectively reviewed to compare demographics and peri-operative variables including, operative time, estimated blood loss, lymph node count, hospital stay, complications, and return to normal activity. Additionally, a cost comparison between all three modalities was performed.


Patients undergoing robotic assisted hysterectomy and staging experienced longer operative time than the laparotomy cohort with no difference in comparison to the laparoscopic cohort (184 min, 108.6 min, 171 min, p<0.0001, p=0.14). Estimated blood loss was significantly reduced for the robotic cohort in comparison to the laparotomy cohort and comparable to laparoscopic cohort (166 cc, 316 cc, 253 cc, p=0.01, p=0.25). The complication rate was lowest in the robotic cohort (7.5%) relative to the laparotomy (27.5%) and laparoscopic cohorts (20%) (p=0.015, p=0.03). Average return to normal activity for the robotic patients was significantly shorter than those undergoing laparotomy (24.1 days versus 52 days, p<0.0001) and those undergoing laparoscopy (31.6 days, p=0.005). Lymph node retrieval did not differ between the 3 groups (robotic 17 nodes, laparotomy 14 nodes, laparoscopic 17 nodes). The total average cost for hysterectomy with staging completed via laparotomy was $12,943.60, for standard laparoscopy $7569.80, and for robotic assistance $8212.00. The difference in cost between laparotomy and robotic cohorts was significant p=0.0001 while there was no statistically significant difference in cost between laparoscopy and robotic cohorts p=0.06.


Robotic hysterectomy provides comparable node retrieval to laparotomy and laparoscopic procedures in the case of the experienced laparoscopic surgeon. While robotic hysterectomy takes longer to perform than hysterectomy completed via laparotomy, it is equivalent to laparoscopic hysterectomy and provides the patient with a more expeditious return to normal activity with reduced post-operative morbidity. Additionally, the average cost for hysterectomy and staging was highest for laparotomy, followed by robotic, and least for standard laparoscopy.

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